Ten Raised to Five Hundred Reasons for Our Gracious God

· Agnosticism


And He (Allah) gave you all that you wanted of Him; and if you try to count the favors of Allah, you will not be able to number them. Indeed, man is very unjust, very ungrateful.  (Al Quran 14:35)

A pictorial representation of multiverse

Written and collected by Zia H Shah MD, Chief Editor of the Muslim Times

Let me start off by saying, if my articles are boring to you, it may  be that you need to read more of them, as was suggested by John Cage, who  was a famous American composer of the twentieth century, “If something is boring  after two minutes, try it for four. If still boring, then eight. Then sixteen.  Then thirty-two. Eventually one discovers that it is not boring at all.”


The title of Stephen  Hawking’s recent book that he has co-authored with Leonard Mlodinow is  The Grand Design.  In this book the authors have  described their agnostic or atheistic world view, through the glasses of  contemporary physics. However, the title itself is a Freudian slip revealing the  underlying conflict of Hawking’s premise. He cannot express his proposition,  even briefly so, without borrowing a phrase that argues the exact opposite and  suggests a Designer, a Creator, a First cause, Alpha and Omega! The authors do  not offer us any new evidence to prove their premise. The book repackages  commonly known scientific information.

Nowhere in the book have the authors told us what could science have  discovered that would have proved a Transcendent God, in other words their  conclusion is in fact, only their starting premise.

The main thesis of the book seems to rely on the multiverse theory and M  Theory, which is used to rescue the sinking ship of atheism. These are  invoked in one form or the other in concluding paragraphs of almost every  chapter, of this book, after the fifth one. The multiverse theory, however,  may belong to science fiction rather than science as we do not have  access to multiverse to examine it through scientific methods.  Hawking  teaches us in the final paragraphs of the fifth chapter that the M theory allows  for ten raised to the power 500 different universes, together represented with  the term multiverse, each universe with its own laws.

Now, any universe outside our own by its very definition cannot be observed,  so multiverse theory lies outside the realm of science, but paraphrasing  Hawking’s number of possible universes, there may be ten raised to the  power 500 variables that make our universe biophylic, which are reasons to  believe in our Gracious God.

Introduction of Multiverse: 

The multiverse (or meta-universe) is the hypothetical set of  infinite or finite possible universes (including  the historical universe we consistently experience) that together comprise  everything that exists and can exist: the entirety of spacetimematter,  and energy as well as  the physical  laws and constants that  describe them. The term was coined in 1895 by the American philosopher and  psychologist William  James.[1] The  various universes within the multiverse are sometimes called parallel  universes.

The structure of the multiverse, the nature of each universe within it and  the relationship between the various constituent universes, depend on the  specific multiverse hypothesis considered. Multiple universes have been  hypothesized in cosmology, physics, astronomy, religion, philosophy,  transpersonal psychology and fiction, particularly in science fiction and  fantasy. In these contexts, parallel universes are also called “alternative  universes”, “quantum universes”, “interpenetrating dimensions”, “parallel  dimensions”, “parallel worlds”, “alternative realities”, “alternative  timelines”, and “dimensional planes,” among others.


Plato would make Socrates say in the Republic (7.514a ff.), the human  condition is comparable to that of prisoners of an underground cave, whose  unfortunate fate is to confuse reality with passing shadows created by a fire  inside their miserable abode and kept in motion by clever manipulators, who in  the name of politics, religion, science, and tradition control the human  herd.

What I am going to write in this article, I put briefly in a comment, in  response to a question that an atheist had raised to my previous comment, in the Huffington Post, in a recent article by Victor Stenger and the moderators conveniently censored and  deleted my comment.  I quickly realized that we do not live in a straight  forward world, many a times, freedom of dialogue is perhaps an illusion and  Plato’s observations are still, as true today as they were 2300 years ago.

If accomplished and decorated physicist and mathematicians can take argument  for relatively simple and understandable issues, into the realm of complex  quantum physics and mathematics, then the masses have little choice but to yield  their intelligence to the priests of physics, mathematics and science.

Richard Feynman, who received Nobel Prize in 1965, was  voted to be one of the the ten greatest physicists of all times, once  famously said, “I think I can safely say that nobody understands quantum  mechanics.”  Gathering strength from his demystification of the Universal  Church of Physics, I believe, I can explain the  quantum mechanics and M  theory and any reader, with high school education, can understand it.

Baron John Rees, President of the Royal Society of UK writes  in his book, Just Six Numbers: the Deep Forces That Shape the  Universe, describes our  biophylic universe in the following words:

I have highlighted these six because each plays a crucial and distinctive  role in our universe, and together they determine how the universe evolves and  what its internal potentialities are; moreover, three of them (those that  pertain to the large-scale universe) are only now being measured with any  precision.
These six numbers constitute a ‘recipe’ for a universe. Moreover, the  outcome is sensitive to their values: if anyone of them were to  be ‘untuned’, there would be no stars and no life. Is this tuning just a  brute fact, a coincidence? Or is it the providence of a benign  Creator?[1]
 To drive home the full force of the fine tuning of these six numbers  from physics, Martin Rees further quotes a very useful metaphor:
There are various ways of reacting to the apparent fine tuning of our  six numbers. One hard-headed response is that we couldn’t exist if these numbers  weren’t adjusted in the appropriate ‘special’ way: we manifestly are here,  so there’s nothing to be surprise about. Many scientists take this line, but it  certainly leaves me unsatisfied. I‘m impressed by a metaphor given by the  Canadian philosopher John Leslie. Suppose you are facing a firing squad. Fifty  marksmen take aim, but they all miss. If they hadn’t all missed, you wouldn’t  have survived to ponder the matter. But you wouldn’t just leave it at that –  you’d still be baffled, and would seek some further reason for your good  fortune.[2][3]
So, the validity and eloquence of the argument of fine tuning of our  universe is self evident.  What would the atheists do to wriggle out of  this?  They believe muliverse is the magical wand, hymn, mantra  or panacea, they need to invoke in every moment of difficulty or distress,  as Hawking does in many of the chapters of his book.
Let me quote from Hawking’s book itself and use it here, in refutation of  his thesis:
Cardinal Christoph Schonborn, archbishop of Vienna, wrote, ‘Now, at the  beginning of the 21st century, faced with scientific claims like  neo-­Darwinism and the multiverse [many universes] hypothesis in  cos­mology invented to avoid the overwhelming evidence for purpose and  design found in modern science, the Catholic Church will again defend human  nature by proclaiming that the immanent de­sign in nature is real?’ In  cosmology the overwhelming evidence for purpose and design to which the cardinal  was referring is the fine ­tuning of physical law we described  above.
I agree with the Cardinal completely in his assesment of the  multiverse. It is the preconceived atheism that makes  many scientists weave artificial explanation for the order, beauty and  organization that they have observed in the universe and in the living organisms  on our planet earth. Multiverse is the main ploy of the atheists to wriggle out  of the evidence of the finely tuned universe. Antony Flew explains, “This  fine tuning has been explained in two ways. Some scientists have said the fine  tuning is evidence for divine design; many others have speculated that our  universe is one of multiple others—a ‘multiverse’—with the difference that ours  happened to have the right conditions for life. Virtually no major scientist  today claims that the fine tuning was purely a result of chance factors at work  in a single universe.”[4]
A true scientific explanation, says Paul Davies, is like a single  well-aimed bullet. The idea of a multiverse replaces the rationally ordered real  world with an infinitely complex charade and makes the whole idea of  ‘explanation’ meaningless.[5] Richard Swinburne is just as strong in his  disdain for the multiverse explanation: “It is crazy to postulate a trillion  (causally unconnected) universes to explain the features of one universe, when  postulating one entity (God) will do the job.”[6]
I quoted Martin Rees above to make my points  but as he wanders away and drifts into an agnostic or atheist world view, in the  last chapter of his book. I have to be critical of his elusive defense of  multiverse.  Now watch how he starts manufacturing smoke screens in  the concluding chapter of the book Just Six Numbers: The Deep Forces That  Shape the Universe. The chapter is titled, Coincidence, providence—or multiverse,  he writes trying to be an apologist for agnosticism or  atheism:
Some people may be inclined to dismiss such concepts (multiverse) as  ‘metaphysics’ (a damning put-down from a physicist’s viewpoint). But I think the  multiverse genuinely lies within the province of science, even though it is  plainly still no more than a tentative hypothesis. This is because we can  already map out what questions must be addressed in order to put it on  a more credible footing; more importantly (since any good scientific theory must  be vulnerable to being refuted), we can envisage some developments that  might rule out the concept.[7]
He chooses to put multiverse genuinely in the province of science while the  multiverse is by definition outside of our universe and there is no hope of us  ever studying or observing it, except in make belief stories. He knows it  himself also as a little bit later he confesses, “These universes would never be  directly observable; we couldn’t even meaningfully say whether they existed  ‘before’, ‘after’ or ‘alongside’ our own.”[8]

You would recall the interesting metaphor of the fifty marksmen, who  conveniently missed their target, Antony Flew who used to be formally a  well known champion of atheism, has presented another interesting metaphor  to look at the biophylic universe. He writes:

Imagine entering a hotel room on your next vacation. The CD player on the  bedside table is softly playing a track from your favorite recording. The framed  print over the bed is identical to the image that hangs over the fireplace at  home. The room is scented with your favorite fragrance. You shake your head in  amazement and drop your bags on the floor. You’re suddenly very alert. You  step over to the minibar, open the door, and stare in wonder at the contents.  Your favorite beverages. Your favorite cookies and candy. Even the brand of  bottled water you prefer. You turn from the mini bar, then, and gaze around  the room. You notice the book on the desk: it’s the latest volume by your  favorite author. You glance into the bathroom, where personal care and grooming  products are lined up on the counter, each one as if it was  chosen specifically for you. You switch on the television; it is tuned to  your favorite channel. Chances are, with each new discovery about your  hospitable new environment, you would be less inclined to think it was all a  mere coincidence, right? You might wonder how the hotel managers acquired such  detailed information about you. You might marvel at their meticulous  preparation. You might even double-check what all this is going to cost you. But  you would certainly be inclined to believe that someone knew you were  coming.

Let’s take the most basic laws of physics. It has been calculated that  if the value of even one of the fundamental constants-the speed of light or the  mass of an electron, for instance-had been to the slightest degree different,  then no planet capable of permitting the evolution of human life could have  formed.

This fine tuning has been explained in two ways. Some scientists have said  the fine tuning is evidence for divine design; many others have speculated that  our universe is one of multiple others-a ‘multiverse’-with the difference that  ours happened to have the right conditions for life. Virtually no major  scientist today claims that the fine tuning was purely a result of chance  factors at work in a single universe.

That vacation scenario is a clumsy, limited parallel to the so-called  fine-tuning argument. The recent popularity of this argument has highlighted a  new dimension of the laws of nature. ‘The more I examine the universe and  study the details of its architecture,’ writes physicist Freeman Dyson, ‘the  more evidence I find that the universe in some sense knew we were coming.’ In  other words, the laws of nature seem to have been crafted so as to move the  universe toward the emergence and sustenance of life. This is the anthropic  principle, popularized by such thinkers as Martin Rees, John Barrow, and John  Leslie.

In his book Infinite Minds, John Leslie, a leading anthropic theorist, argues  that fine tuning is best explained by divine design. He says that he is  impressed not by particular arguments for instances of fine tuning, but by  the fact that these arguments exist in such profusion. ‘If, then, there were  aspects of nature’s workings that appeared very fortunate and also entirely  fundamental,’ he writes, ‘then these might well be seen as evidence specially  favoring belief in God.’[9]


I am a physician, working as a Pulmonologist and a Sleep Disorder’s  Specialist in the state of New York for the last twenty years.

In medical research and literature, when the odds of something happening by  pure chance or accident, is less than 5%, then it is attributed to the medicine  or treatment under consideration. This is simply based on the logic that 95% is  nineteen times more likely than 5%.

But, in the field of physics, cosmology and astronomy the odds can rise to  one in a trillion or more precisely, one in ten raised to the power of five  hundred, yet those with an atheistic bend of mind, do not stop weaving their  atheistic theories and world view.

Given their lack of understanding of simple mathematics and statistics, the  theist readers are no longer indebted to stand in awe of their scholarship and  accomplishments, when they go against the Provident and Gracious God, who has  given us  ten raised to the power of five hundred reasons, to adore, love  and worship Him.

The Muslims belonging to the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, never propose a God  of the gaps, for we know that God is Subtle and Hidden and is called Al  Lateef and Al Baatin in the Holy Quran.  He works through the  Laws of Nature and His Creativity and Providence do not ever violate the Laws of  Nature, for given His Omniscience, this is how He has designed our universe or  multiverse!  Even miracles fall in the realm of Laws of Nature, even though  we may not know of those Laws at the given time.

When physicists, mathematicians and biologists talk about metaphysics and  religion, we do not have to genuflex to them.

Additional Readings:

A challenge for Dawkins: Where did carbon come  from?

Plain Water will Tell you the Story

Just Six Numbers: The Deep Forces That Shape The  Universe by Martin Rees

The Goldilocks Enigma: Why Is the Universe Just  Right for Life? by Paul Davies


1. John Rees. Just Six Numbers: The Deep Forces That Shape the Universe.  Basic Books, 2000. Page 4.

2. John Rees. Just Six Numbers: The Deep Forces  That Shape the Universe. Basic Books, 2000. Page 4.

3. John Rees. Just Six  Numbers: The Deep Forces That Shape the Universe. Basic Books, 2000. Page  165-166.

4. Antony Flew. There Is a God: How the World’s Most Notorious  Atheist Changed His Mind. Harper One, 2007. Page 115.

5. Paul Davies,  “Universes Galore: Where Will It All End?”  http://cosmos.asu.edu/publications/chapters/Universes%20galore.pdf

6.  Richard Swinburne, “Design Defended,” Think (Spring 2004): page 17.

7. John  Rees. Just Six Numbers: The Deep Forces That Shape the Universe. Basic Books,  2000. Page 166-167.

8. John Rees. Just Six Numbers: The Deep Forces That  Shape the Universe. Basic Books, 2000. Page 168.

9. Antony Flew. There Is a  God: How the World’s Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind. Harper One, 2007.  Page 113-115.

Al Rehman, the Gracious God has given us the sun,  water and air and everything else that we need and enjoy


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